In the days after my father’s passing, I quickly learned to accept what happened. Although it was a sudden thing, I don’t like to call it untimely, because God already knew.
I felt that God was preparing me for the news I was about to receive as I was on the way to the hospital. As I rushed out the doors of my job, I said, “Lord, you know that I pray for your will, but I don’t want this to be bad. I want my daddy to be ok.” Minutes later, as I was at the traffic light near the hospital, a yellow butterfly flew into my line of vision, and I felt a level of peace that I cannot describe. I knew this feeling and what it meant, but again, I spoke to the Lord, “I don’t want that to be it. I want my daddy…”.
This was the same peace I felt nearly a year before when one of my faithful servant friends had passed away.
I knew before I even got the news from the officials, that daddy’s spirit was with the Lord.
There’s an old saying that you can’t “preach” people into heaven. As the days following came and went, I wanted to be sure that I wasn’t believing my dad went to be with the Lord, just because it was a consoling thought, so I prayed, “Lord, if my daddy is really with you, confirm it.”
My God! It has been an amazing two weeks to see what God is showing me. As I was standing in the cemetery with an employee who was giving me information regarding the burial process, she took me over to a space that she said she didn’t really recommend, but that it was a nice spot. As I looked around, I saw these bugs flying, and I asked, “What are those??”
“Dragonflies.” she said.
I lost it. That unspeakable peace came over me again, and those dragonflies were symbolic and a reminder of something God has spoken to me years prior.
Once we got back into the office to continue our discussion, it dawned on me that I had taken a picture near that same area where the dragonflies were, a little over 9 years ago.
Yes, a picture. I don’t know what made me take a picture in the cemetery that day, but I went and dug up that picture, and my heart was so full at God giving me a glimpse of my future, even as sad and melancholy as it turned out to be. The word tells us in Jeremiah 33:3 “Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.” What a tremendous blessing, to be able to ask God something like that and not only get an answer, but get confirmation over and over again. I have seen more dragonflies in the last couple of weeks than I have ever seen before.
As the days continued to go by, I heard so many wonderful stories about my father, his character and how he lived his life. I was disappointed at having to grieve AND figure out how we were going to pay to have a funeral but I had joy in knowing that my dad left this place with a good name, and had a positive impact on family and friends.
In the days after his memorial service, a received a devotional titled “A Legacy Life”. It spoke to what my dad represented. It spoke of a man who had an amazing turnout for his funeral. It was thought that he was famous, but it turned out that he was just a good person.
“Just a good person” is an understatement. Being a good person bears more weight in the kingdom than having great riches or being famous. The devotional goes on to share this wisdom: “Live to leave a legacy for God’s glory.”
This is exactly what my father did. He wasn’t perfect by any means, but when he did his deeds, he did them from his heart, and not for anyone to see or to talk about. He lived his life serving others. He didn’t meet a stranger. He extended love and kindness no matter who you were.
I’m incredibly proud to continue that legacy.
It can be a challenge being genuine and generous in a society where selfishness is promoted, and generosity isn’t easily received. I have struggled with rejection, and also with knowing how to set boundaries in relationships. Many want to reap, but few want to sow. We must always be genuine, there’s no question there. We must also be generous, but we must be led by the Holy Spirit in sharing our gifts.
Matthew 7:6 says, “Do not give what is holy to the dogs; nor cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you in pieces.” (NKJV)
These words in red, spoken by Jesus, are referring to preaching the Gospel, however the same concept can be applied to learning how to identify how to share what we have been entrusted with. We must be more discerning rather than judgmental.
As difficult as this process has been, I have pressed through and continued to walk in faith. I’m grateful for the things that have been revealed, and how it has brought me that much closer to my creator. I will continue to strive to make my dad proud, and carry on the legacy that he so effortlessly carried out.
I pray that these words have been a blessing to you.